Father Ryan High School’s hopes to win its third team title in a row at the Division II Wrestling State Championships came down to their final two wrestlers, seniors Ben Stacey and Jeremy Darvin. With the Baylor School of Chattanooga only two points behind in the team standings, the Irish needed one of them to win.
Stacey, the defending state champion at 220 pounds, clinched no worse than a tie for his team by repeating his overtime win over Montgomery Bell Academy’s D’On Coofer from last year, and Darvin, the team’s heavyweight, made sure the Irish would keep the championship trophy to themselves by defeating Baylor’s Cooper Reiniche 7-2 in overtime for his first individual championship.
Stacey and Darvin were two of seven individual champions for Father Ryan. “It was two years in a row with seven champs, and two years in a row it took us seven champs to win,” said Ryan Coach Pat Simpson.
It was Father Ryan’s 15th state tournament team championship, the most of any school in the state. And Ryan has also won eight championships in the duals state tournament, when the schools compete as a team, for a total of 23 championships in its history. This year, Father Ryan won the championship at both the dual and individual state tournaments, the fourth time it has completed that sweep.
Father Ryan finished with 247 points in the team standings, followed by Baylor, 238, Christian Brothers High School of Memphis, 170, McCallie, 167.5, and MBA 140. Photos by Andy Telli